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Impact pathways of photovoltaic poverty alleviation in China: Evidence from a systematic review

Lookup NU author(s): Fubin Huang, Shan Jin


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© 2021 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Photovoltaic poverty alleviation (PVPA), an innovative and unique policy in China aiming at green development and poverty alleviation, has attracted increasing attention from both the public and government. It is therefore useful to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of PVPA and its policy implication. By means of a systematic review, this study constructed the expected causal chain of PVPA based on the Theory of Change (TOC), and verified the extent to which the causality matches the existing 44 literature on China's PVPA from English and Chinese scholarly databases. Results indicate that the identification of PVPA targets is generally accurate, but the annual revenue of 3,000 yuan per household cannot be fully guaranteed. The beneficiaries of PVPA cover individuals/households, villages/communities and counties/areas, and there are positive effects on income, employment, local capability building, industrial development, carbon emissions reduction, environmental and energy consciousness and living environment. However, excessive investment inhibits the promotion efficiency of poverty alleviation, and the causality between PVPA and energy transition needs strong evidence. We emphasize a comprehensive evaluation in the pilot period to avoid widespread disorder among different departments, which claims for high governance capacity and more attention to the households’ sense of gain. Policymakers should give full consideration to the participation of poor households to provoke their initiative out of poverty and design systematic policies with diversified livelihood strategies for the poor to fight against the multi-dimensional poverty. Moreover, the characteristics of the poor and their external living environment need to be taken into account to formulate targeted policies.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Huang F, Li W, Jin S, Yue M, Shuai C, Cheng X, Shuai Y

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sustainable Production and Consumption

Year: 2022

Volume: 29

Pages: 705-717

Print publication date: 01/01/2022

Online publication date: 15/11/2021

Acceptance date: 12/11/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2352-5509

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2021.11.015